Los Angeles, CA – The University of Arizona Wildcat men's and No. 5 women's track and field teams begin championship season with the Pac-12 Championships. The meet is being held at USC's Cromwell Field and Katherine B. Loker Stadium. The Wildcats claimed four individual titles on Saturday and the women sit in first place after the first day of competition.
The women lead with 60 points overall for the team competition. Arizona State is in second with 45 points. UCLA holds third place with 33 points. Stanford is in fourth with 32 points and Oregon is fifth with 30.50 points.
On the men's side, UCLA leads with 53.50 points. Oregon's 49.50 points are good for second place. Washington tallied 37 points and is in third place. Colorado has 34 points and sits in fourth place. Arizona State is in fifth place with 29 points. Arizona's men have 12 points and are tied for eighth place with USC.
Senior Brigetta Barrett won the women's high jump competition with a mark of 6-6.25 (1.99m). That mark is the collegiate record. Amy Acuff (UCLA), Destinee Hooker (Texas) and Kajsa Bergqvist (SMU) held the previous record with a jump of 6-6 (1.98m). Hooker tied the previous record in 2009. Barrett also set a stadium record, which was previously held by Acuff at 6-4.25 (1.94m). Barrett won her third-straight conference title. She is the third woman in Pac-10/12 history to win three conference titles in the high jump.
Tanya Hughes of Arizona (1991, 1992, 1993) and Whitney Evans of Washington State (2001, 2002, 2003) also accomplished that feat. Arizona now has nine Pac-10/12 women's high jump titles in the conference history, which is the most by any school and four of the last five titles.
"Today was a great day," Barrett said. "God is awesome. It felt great and the weather was awesome. It's beautiful out here and the environment was great. I felt a lot like the Miami Heat, the first year they did not win the NBA title, but the next year they came back with unfinished business and when they did win the NBA title, they acted like they belonged there. Last year I broke the collegiate record but since I did not do it in a collegiate meet, it didn't count. I felt I deserved it but I had to wait for God's time. I learned that waiting for God's time is better than my time. I have to learn to balance excitement and focus. Sometimes I get so excited I lose the ability to focus."
Junior Julie Labonté won the women's shot put competition with a toss of 57-0.25 (17.38m). Labonté won her third conference title in shot put, she won in 2011 prior to redshirting the 2012 outdoor season and she won in 2010. Labonté is the fifth woman in Pac-10/12 history to win three conference titles in the shot put.
Senior Alyssa Hasslen took second place after throwing 55-9.75 (17.01m). It is the third-straight year Hasslen has earned a runner-up finish. She earned all-conference honors all four years. Sophomore Baillie Gibson's mark of 53-10.5 (16.42m) was good for fourth place. It is the second time Gibson has earned all-conference accolades in the event. Junior Omotayo Talabi grabbed seventh place with a toss of 51-9 (15.77m). It's the third time in her career that Talabi has earned All-Pac-10/12 honors in the shot put. The quartet added 24 points to the women's total.
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